An event of continental magnitude: Frank Gehry to build concert hall for Dudamel in Venezuela

An event of continental magnitude: Frank Gehry to build concert hall for Dudamel in Venezuela


norman lebrecht

November 28, 2013

El Sistema founder Jose Antonio Abreu announced last night that the LA architect who built Walt Disney Hall, is coming to Venezuela to do another. This is an event of continental magnitude, giving the country a potential lift on the scale of Sydney Opera House.

abreu dudamel2


Announcement in Spanish here and below.


Maestro Abreu anunció la construcción de la Sala Dudamel en Barquisimeto (+video) Luego de una reunión con el presidente de la República, Nicolás Maduro, realizada este martes en el Palacio de Miraflores, el maestro José Antonio Abreu anunció la construcción de la Sala Dudamel en la ciudad de Barquisimeto. El fundador del sistema de orquestas informó que “uno de los puntos que tratamos esta noche fue la construcción de la Sala Dudamel en Barquisimeto, la sede de la orquesta en Lara, producto del máximo arquitecto actual Frank Gehry quien donó el proyecto en honor a Gustavo y en honor a la orquesta y que va a ser una referencia mundial de primer orden. Esto es un primer paso que estaremos dando para el primer trimestre del año”. Siga leyendo en el enlace


  • Robert Fitzpatrick says:

    Sala Dudamel, indeed. Perhaps cooler heads be convinced that Sala Abreu might be more appropriate.

    • David H. says:

      Agreed. It’s terribly tactless to name public buildings after young living celebrities.

    • MWnyc says:

      A Sala Abreu – if there isn’t one already – should be the national concert hall in Caracas. Or maybe there should be Salas Abreu in many cities. For Barquisimeto, Sala Dudamel is fine, and I expect it means a lot to people there.

  • Manu says:

    They all finish up by helping the construction industry… Doesn’t matter how they are and where they come from…

  • Ignacio says:

    This is monumentally absurd if not insulting. That thoroughly mismanaged, bullying, tyrannical government cannot even feed its own people notwithstanding the oil wealth they expropriated and ruined. El Sistema may be great, but the political undercurrent surrounding all of this is revolting. Is this not part of “bread & circus” tactics? a latter day “Strength Through Joy” movement? Is the Dude becoming a stooge? a latter-day Ellie Ney or Oswald Kabasta?

    • Ignacio–strong comparisons to the Hitler government and their artist stooges. Very good. (And yet the charismatic Dudamel is not on the very high, even exalted, level of Elly Ney or Kabasta.) Poor, impoverished South American countries are getting the worst kind of governments serving their own egos and not feeding their people. It’s the same way in my parents’ s homeland of the Philippines.

      • Ignacio Martínez-Ybor says:

        For the record, though my name is Spanish, I am not from Venezuela nor do I have any connections to the country, though I’m abreast of the nefarious deeds being perpetrated there.

      • Michael Schaffer says:

        Lloyd Arriola says:

        November 28, 2013 at 6:38 pm

        “Ignacio–strong comparisons to the Hitler government and their artist stooges. Very good. (And yet the charismatic Dudamel is not on the very high, even exalted, level of Elly Ney or Kabasta.) Poor, impoverished South American countries are getting the worst kind of governments serving their own egos and not feeding their people. It’s the same way in my parents’ s homeland of the Philippines.”

        Do you think the colonial and post-colonial meddling in those countries by your current home country may have something to do with that? Just a thought.

        BTW, that’s the first time I have seen anyone call Oswald Kabasta “exalted”.

    • Michael Schaffer says:

      Ignacio says:

      November 28, 2013 at 4:00 pm

      “El Sistema may be great, but the political undercurrent surrounding all of this is revolting. Is this not part of “bread & circus” tactics?”

      No. “Bread&circus” means feeding the masses with bread and mindless entertainment, not giving them access to sophisticated musical education.

      “a latter day “Strength Through Joy” movement?”

      Not necessarily. “Kraft durch Freude” was a program that allowed workers to gain affordable access to cultural activities, education, entertainment, recreational travel. It was also intended to stimulate the economy because it gave an enormous boost to the tourism industry. It was the “socialist” part of “national socialist”. Similar programs were tried out in many countries during that period. Just because the Nazis did it that doesn’t mean that it’s generally a bad thing as such to bring education and leisure activities to the people.

    • David H. says:

      “Bread and Circus” is the Anglo-American idea of “civilization”. “El Sistema” stands for Bread&Education.

      • Ignacio Martínez-Ybor says:

        Let us not descend into sophistry. “Bread and circus” is used simply to connote keeping the masses entertained/busy so as to avoid underlying realities. “Strength through Joy” camps and vacations served the same manipulative purpose, whether or not they were great vacation values for emerging national socialists.

  • figarosi says:

    And he is leading the Berlin Philharmonic in a concert in cinemas Dec 6. The front runner to succeed Rattle?

    • CA says:

      I hope not.

      • Rgiarola says:

        Money talks and bullshit walks. Doesn’t matter in Caracas or Berlin.

      • Papageno says:

        Somehow I really doubt it, unless there are guns pointed at the heads of every orchestra member when the vote for a new music director is taken in 2015. I’ve been a subscriber to the LA Phil for quite a while, and after a couple of seasons, it’s obvious that Gustavo Dudamel has got a lot of talent. But his readings of the core repertoire are pretty hit and miss. He’s also not much of an orchestra builder either, which is something LA could use (what a lot of us would not give for Simon Rattle).

        And Berlin?

        Dude just isn’t ready. His recording of Strauss with the Berliners was extremely tepid in my opinion, and there are conductors like Thielemann, Barenboim (despite his advanced age), or Chailly who would almost certainly get the nod before Dudamel ever would. They’ll keep inviting him as a guest, of course — much like Vienna and Concertgebouw — since there’s so much press and pizzazz around him. But that will be it, I think.

        • David H. says:

          Media exposure tipped the outcome last time in favour of Rattle, to the disadvantage of Barenbom. It will be a major factor in choosing Rattle’s successor as well.

          • Papageno says:

            If you were the Berliners, would you choose Dudamel over the other guys though?

            Just an honest question. And I’m asking it as someone who likes Dudamel. He does get Disney Hall filled up and brings in the younger crowds. So there is that. But as I said, he can be really uneven conducting the meat and potatoes stuff (Beethoven, Bruckner, Strauss) that Berlin is going to want.

          • Ignacio Martínez-Ybor says:

            I honestly don’t think the Dude has the remotest chance of getting appointed to Berlin. I cringe at how that would cheapen the orchestra. I don’t think he has the musical credentials. And the glitz and recruiting and fund-raising value that Dudamel obviously brought to LA was needed by LA, not by Berlin. LA treated Salonen very well. I was in LA during his final weeks, and city buses and lamp-posts had banners saying farewell to Salonen. It struck me as something quite lovely and warm-hearted to do, as it was honoring somebody leaving not a publicity campaign involving the orchestra’s future. Very gallant of LA. There are many that musically would be considered for the post in Berlin before the Dude. Certainly Daniele Gatti for one, or Andris Nelson (notwithstanding Boston), Osmo Vänskä, even a “youngster” like Vasily Petrenko, etc. Certainly, after Rattle, no Brit. I would like to see Thielemann take over Berlin. I see nobody better within Germany or outside. However I’ve heard rumblings about previous tensions between players and CT when he’s guested.

          • Ignacio Martínez-Ybor says:

            What I have written about Dudamel has nothing to do with the power of music, his contribution to it, and his basic talent. It only addresses Dudamel in the context of how he is politically used in his country (it seems he’s aware and complicit with it), about the various ways of distracting the populace from political and economic realities (“bread & circus” et al., notwithstanding whatever inherent be in El Sistema, which I do not dispute), and also about his filling in the forthcoming Berlin vacancy. Of course, I do not think Dudamel is a fraud. At this point in his career, I do not see him ready for Berlin in the same manner that I do not see the LAPhil, fine an orchestra as it is, as the equivalent of the BPO, however much the latter, arguably if any, may have regressed under Rattle.

          • David H. says:

            I’m not “the Berliners”. “The Berliners” are about 120 musicians with about 240 opinions… 😉

            But of course you are right. Dudamel is a good conductor for the world with his public appeal. But Berlin doesn’t want “translators” to the non classical world. Cultural desert L.A. needs that, but not Berlin. Berlin just wants the best possible and most universal conductor and musician as their leader.

        • MWnyc says:

          Hang on there a minute, Papageno …

          Two decades with Salonen, all that critical praise and audience success, no. 8 in the 2008 Gramophone poll of the world’s best orchestras (ahead of New York, Boston, Dresden, the Met Opera and both St. Petersburg orchestras, for heaven’s sake) —

          — and you still think the L.A. Philharmonic needs an orchestra builder?

          I see from your comments below that you don’t like what Salonen did to the orchestra’s basic sound. Fair enough – that doesn’t mean the LAPhil needs a builder, it just means that you think it needs a conductor whose sound ideals more closely match yours.

          Which is fine, but it’s not at all the same thing. The L.A. Phil is past needing someone like Edo de Waart or Leonard Slatkin (excellent orchestra builders) to bring them into the big leagues.

          • Papageno says:

            My comments weren’t meant as a huge knock against the orchestra. I definitely feel like the LA Phil can play with just about any band in the U.S. on any given night (and have been massively underrated for years, especially by some East Coasters who kind of dismissed them as being a big step below the “Big Five”). But yeah, there is still quite a bit of room for improvement, especially with the string sound (although the brass now reminds me of what is was like in the eighties and early nineties — very strong in every section, especially with Andrew Bain on first horn who I honestly think is sounding more and more like Australia’s answer to Dale Clevenger).

            This is an orchestra that I really think *could* become the best in America, which is saying a lot when you think about the high standards and traditions of Cleveland and Chicago and Boston (among others).

            As for the Gramophone ranking, I grinned like the Cheshire Cat when I saw it back in 2008 (it was great to see the home town band getting some recognition). And as Michael Schaffer points out below, Salonen *did* help raise the profile of the orchestra in some ways, especially through his embracing of new music. So you have to give credit where credit is due there. But again, as someone who heard the LA Phil night in and night out, the playing had become a lot of more cold, brittle and even sloppy under Salonen. And I’m not alone in that viewpoint. You’d hear them play Messiaen or a work by Stravinsky and it would be first rate. Then they’d play a Bruckner symphony with Esa-Pekka or Beethoven and, oh man, would it be a major come down. You might not agree, and that’s totally cool. I get it. But I think the orchestra would benefit at this point from a conductor like Rattle who could build them up to even greater heights.

            There’s also a folly (and I am guilty of this sometimes) in trusting those “expert” rankings of the moment a bit too much — remember that a critic for Time Magazine (I think it was) ranked St. Louis under Slatkin as the second best orchestra in the United States in 1983. They’re a very fine orchestra, but it didn’t last. Likewise, I think LA is certainly in the big leagues, and has been for a while. But I’d like to see them move to another level where they’re considered on the same plateau as Chicago, Cleveland, and yes… maybe even the LSO, Concertgebouw and Berlin. God knows, they’ve got a lot of the talent for it.

            Anyway, it’s just one man’s opinion, so take it all with a huge grain of salt, my friend. 😉

          • David H. says:

            I disagree about Rattle being a good match for LA Phil. If what you describe is true, that LA phil won under Salonen regading the “vertical” structures of music and in precision, but lost in the “horizontal” and melodic realm, then Rattle would be the wrong conductor, since he is a genius with rhythm himself, but only mediocre and short-phrased when it comes to breath, melody and singing. It seems LA phil needs that and not more “verticality”.

          • Michael Schaffer says:

            Papageno says:

            December 1, 2013 at 8:54 pm

            “My comments weren’t meant as a huge knock against the orchestra. I definitely feel like the LA Phil can play with just about any band in the U.S. on any given night (and have been massively underrated for years, especially by some East Coasters who kind of dismissed them as being a big step below the “Big Five”)…

            …But I’d like to see them move to another level where they’re considered on the same plateau as Chicago, Cleveland, and yes… maybe even the LSO, Concertgebouw and Berlin.”

            That will never happen, but I don’t think it matters all that much either. I think you shouldn’t preoccupy yourself so much with how this or that orchestra is “ranked”. What does it matter? When you are in a concert in LA, you are in a concert in LA. When you in a concert in London, you are in a concert in London. When you are in a concert in Paris, you are in a concert in Paris. As long as the concert you are hearing is good, what does it matter how well other orchestras play elsewhere? Especially these days when the general level of orchestral playing is so much higher than it was even as recently as maybe 30 years ago. You can hear very good orchestral playing in many places today. Sure, there are many mediocre concerts, too. But it’s always been like that.

            Apart from that, I can only reconfirm what you said. Speaking of come downs, the last concerts I heard in LA before I moved to Boston (but don’t worry, that’s not at all what it’s often cracked up to be either, especially in recent years when the orchestra has had to deal with the total lack of continuity and leadership due to Levine’s health problems), and therefore, unfortunately, my last live impressions of the orchestra was the Sibelius cycle.

            And that was a major disappointment. I already mentioned the performance of the 2nd which at one point almost fell apart. DG managed to edit together a reasonably good version of that from various takes which you can get from DG Concerts on iTunes but I think it is telling that they had actually planned to publish the whole cycle. But they dropped that project.

            It was very strange. I had expected at least solid, well executed performances but they playing was often surprisingly mediocre. Salonen seemed to try to go for big emotions, he almost killed himself on the podium but that didn’t really translate to the orchestra. Interestingly enough, the one really good performance in that cycle was the Lemminkäinen Suite played by the student orchestra of the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. They connected with and followed Salonen much better than the LAP did. They must have been very thoroughly prepared because they also played technically on a very high level.

            Unfortunately, some dumbasses kept clapping not only between movements, but even *within* some movements (there are some general rests in some of the pieces). At one point, Salonen even turned around and asked the audience to refrain from clapping until he gave them the sign that the performance was finished, but that didn’t help…

            “Andrew Bain on first horn who I honestly think is sounding more and more like Australia’s answer to Dale Clevenger”

            Well, I hope not…Clevenger obviously was a phenomenal horn player but one of the things I used to like most about the LA sound was that they still cultivated a darker, rounder, fuller horn sound (that can be heard to great advantage e.g. in Giulini’s recording of Brahms 1 and 2 and Schumann 3) rather than the thin and bright brass sound heard in Chicago.

          • Papageno says:

            “Well, I hope not…Clevenger obviously was a phenomenal horn player but one of the things I used to like most about the LA sound was that they still cultivated a darker, rounder, fuller horn sound (that can be heard to great advantage e.g. in Giulini’s recording of Brahms 1 and 2 and Schumann 3) rather than the thin and bright brass sound heard in Chicago.”

            Sadly, that fuller sound (or even a distinctive horn sound) is never coming back to the LAPO. Not unless Bain and the other players all decide to make some serious changes where the section is concerned.

            According to one of the former LAPO brass players, the horn section under Mehta, Giulini, and the first year(s) of Previn all played on Con 8 D’s (hopefully I’m getting that right) which gave them that dark and rich unified sound. But that hasn’t been the case for a while (Jerry Folsom came into LA playing a different horn, and some of the other players followed suit). My comment about Bain was more in the spirit of his playing reflecting the high standards and virtuoso ability of Clevenger during his peak. I heard a Mahler 5th performance with LA and Daniel Harding (of all people) last season, and Bain’s horn solo was probably the best I’d heard in that symphony either live or recorded (that includes Jansons and the Concertgebouw in Disney). He was also a guest principal with the Berlin Philharmonic this summer, and they apparently really liked him, so I think the guy is the real deal.

            Anyway, I’m really enjoying the conversation with everyone in this thread, even when we disagree.

  • Greg Hlatky says:

    Considering that the inflation rate in Venezuela is currently 54 percent (and that’s the official rate), Gehry should avoid being paid in bolivars.

  • Jerimy Bass says:

    IMHO, Dudamel is another Karajan: Overrated, not that great, gets way more attention than he deserves, and worshipped as if he were God.

    • Papageno says:

      Gulp. I think Karajan was pretty amazing (please don’t throw any rotten eggs at me).

      Dudamel isn’t Karajan, of course (although I’ve heard him compared to Leonard Bernstein more than once). But one thing is for sure — he’s off the charts popular here in Los Angeles. Most of his concerts at Disney Hall are usually sold out, and you’ll even see packs of teenagers in hoodies or dressed up in suits and ties (often escorting their girlfriends) when Dudamel’s on the podium.

      • Jerimy Bass says:

        Hmm. I wonder if I’d be going too far by calling Dudamel “the Justin Bieber of conductors”.

      • Rgiarola says:

        Perhaps Dudamel is Karajan concerning over exposure on media. That’s the only possible comparison between both, although I think Dudamel is much less capable to avoid backlash.

        Papageno, I’m astonished! You’re the first LA Phi subscriber at this blog, that isn’t saying Dudamel is perfect. Yes, what a lot of us would not give for Simon Rattle in LA.

        Maybe you’re the first one here that isn’t a Marketing puppet, but just a regular subscriber. Thanks for your honest opinion.

        • Papageno says:

          Well, he might be the Justin Bieber of conductors when he starts spray painting graffiti on the side of Disney Hall and peeing into janitor’s buckets. 😉

          Seriously, I was actually a little nervous about giving my thoughts on Dudamel because he has a very large contingent of fans in Southern California that — to put it mildly — don’t like him or the orchestra being criticized. Mark Swed, the L.A. Times critic, seems to be at the head of that particular table (for him, Salonen and Dude can do no wrong). Again, I think Dudamel has got a wellspring of talent. But the concerts have been all over the place. For instance, I heard a thunderous Rite Of Spring with Dude and the Phil in the fall of 2012 (perhaps the best I’ve heard since Boulez conducted the same orchestra in 1987), but he also led a performance of Debussy’s La Mer that came out — as a Cleveland Orchestra musician might put it — as “Das Merde.” Seriously, it was a disjointed and clumsy affair from start to finish. Poor Dude had no clue what to do with the piece.

          I would even go so far to say that he wasn’t ready to be the L.A. Phil’s music director. What I think the orchestra truly needed after Salonen completely wrecked their warm and dark European sound — started by Van Beinum, developed by Mehta and Giulini, and kept in place by Previn — was a conductor who could build morale and standards up to even greater heights. I think Simon Rattle represents the siren song who some of us (although not all) would love to see on the podium. The orchestra apparently loves him to pieces. However, I’d say that’s extremely unlikely given the rumors that Rattle is going to take over the LSO. Dudamel also gets the box office and I think that’s really what the board cares about now.

          Anyway, I don’t mean to be so hard on him. Dudamel could become one of the great conductors in classical music. He’s got the tools. But I’ve heard some really harsh things muttered about him though — not sure if it was here or another blog, but someone remarked that if Dudamel were a balding fifty-year old European, nobody would be care. Ouch.

          Don’t get me started on Disney Hall either. A glittering marvel on the outside, cold and brittle acoustics with no bloom to the sound on the inside (and apparently, a stage where the orchestra sections of the LA Phil can’t even hear one another, which doesn’t help with ensemble playing). Worst of all, the seats are cramped for anyone over five and a half feet tall. Better than Dorothy Chandler, which was a barn, but still not a “great hall with shimmering acoustics” as the marketers want you to believe. At least, not in my opinion as a subscriber. But there you go.

          • Papageno says:

            Oops, I meant “nobody would be interested” (not “nobody would be care,” which makes no sense — so much for proofreading).

            Anyway, he’s got a great thing going in LA. It provides a heck of a vehicle for himself and the Bolivars (who now get invited for residencies at Disney every other season — no idea who’s paying for it, although we certainly don’t see the best guest conductors with any regularity). Like I said, I don’t think Berlin will roll the dice on him after they did so with Rattle. But Dudamel could move on to the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, or a band in Britain or Europe when his contract is up.

          • Michael Schaffer says:

            Agree with all of the above. I lived in San Diego from 2003-2007 and I was often in LA for work, so I got to see the LAP at Disney Hall pretty regularly. I heard one concert at Dorothy Chandler Pavilion the year before, and yes, that hall was terrible, an acoustically dead barn. Disney Hall is much better but I agree that it has fairly big problems, too, no matter how much they hype it and its alleged “world class” acoustics. The hall carries soft sounds in the mid range pretty well and adds some bloom to the lower end, but that can also boom easily rather than bloom, and the biggest problem I found is that it easily overloads when the orchestra plays really loud. It almost seems as if there is a lid on the sound which allows it to unfold only to a certain point, but not beyond that. Beyond that point, the sound becomes brittle and compacted.

            I also agree that the LAP sounded much better before Salonen, much fuller and rounder, with richer colors. I have heard them live on a number occasions beginning in the mid-late 80s and I have all their recordings with Giulini and many of the ones they made with Mehta before and Previn after. OK – those are *recordings* but since I heard them live during that period, too, I think I have a realistic idea of what they used to sound like. The orchestra totally lost that warm, deep sound under Salonen. In fact, in some concerts I heard, there were some pretty serious ensemble problems. I heard a Sibelius 2 in which he almost threw the orchestra in the slow movement.

            Salonen seems to have done a lot of good things in LA as far as raising the public profile of the orchestra is concerned and he somehow managed to make going to classical concerts, including those with contemporary programming, more “cool” than it had been, but musically, I found most of what I heard fairly disappointing.

            My feeling is that he left when he left because he understood that the persona he had cultivated would eventually wear off, so he timed his departure very cleverly. Quit while you are ahead, that kind of thing.

        • Papageno says:

          I’d heard from one of the LAPO musicians that Yasuhisa Toyota, who was responsible for the acoustics in Disney, complained that American orchestras would play “too loud” and that he wanted to prevent that in the hall (hence the feeling that there’s a lid on the sound which makes it more brittle and compacted as the orchestra gets louder). Apparently some of the LAPO brass players were *not* happy with the results.

          Sometimes a great conductor can navigate around a hall’s deficiencies (Stokowski and Ormandy famously did that with Philadelphia in the Academy, which created the lush “Philadelphia Sound”). I’m not sure Dudamel can do that though.

  • Ignacio Martínez-Ybor says:

    The Dude is not quite ready for Berlin, though maybe twenty years from now he could be. If he inures LA from the fiscal malaise afflicting so many bodies elsewhere, may his curly glitz see him through several years of competent music making and growing treasure. Karajan was great, as much as many people would wish to consider less than so, usually for less than musical reasons. I’ve heard him live from the 1960’s onward until practically his death, once even playing the harpsichord in Bach with members of the BSO in the Brandenburgs and the Suites. But my gosh, what a conductor. The most moving Mahler 9th I ever heard performed in my life I heard from Karajan! Living in New York for many years I had heard it from many and with several great orchestras, including Lenny, with the NYP and the VPO, Haitink and the Clevelanders (maybe….I know it was Haitink with the Concertgebouw in the 5th, and Solti with the CSO. Nobody absolutely nobody came to the devastating finale Karajan brought that orchestra (in the old-fashioned generous program, there was indeed a first half in which Karajan and the BPO full strings played a rather un-Stravinskian Apollon Musagète….. but its ok….. to hear such luxuriant sounds in the neo-classical score was a lifetime treat, even if the composer would have been turning over in his grave: there are ample opportunities to hear leanness elsewhere. One particularly season, Solti and the CSO played an Ein Heldenleben that made Carnegie Hall shake, physically shake…. like the faint rumble of the subway never does. Some time later Karajan and the BPO played the Alpine Symphony where the massive tutti at the beginning was so powerful it seemed the music came from every wall, every nail in the hall, enveloping us in a mystical wave of sound that instinctively made me turn to a loved one who at the same time was turning towards me both of us with an unprecedented immense grin in our faces as if we were in sight of the divine. Solti and his forces were like being hit with a Mack truck; Karajan and the BPO was like was some sort overwhelming of sublime transfiguration, a climax we had never experienced before. I heard him do two full Brahms cycles, both perfectly fine, the first was fully magisterial, not only sonically, but the logic informing the interpretation of the pieces. The second held one breathless, indeed I remember being stunning, and adjective not usually associated with the piece, however good a performance. The First in the first cycle, sometime in the 60’s, was so perfectly structured and balanced that one could practically read the score from the notes being played, with the arc leading to the final repetition of the last movement chorale becoming more than sound, like a massive flash of intergalactic light emanating from the BPO. Years later the same finale did not evoke such response in me, but the Karajan performance was never less than phenomenally good, and would have made Furtwangler eat his heart out as the great one took his hat off to his unwanted progeny. Ironically, the BPO could not have had a worthier and more natural succession, as the longevity and riches of the marriage attested, even if unfortunate, old age idiosyncracies killed it off. To lump the Dude in such company is a compliment the “dude” does not deserve now, and I have no idea when, in terms of musical worthiness, he’d even belong in the same sentence. Jeremy Bass, before indulging in glib dismissiveness, I think needs a deeper and wider exploration of Karajan, even his earlier, marvelous performances with the new born Philharmonia orchestra (a pairing I only heard in recordings). Many, feeling compelled to render judgment, neglect the man’s immense musicality, all his skills and intellectual grasp of anything he conducted because they feel conflicted by the man’s biography. The man’s biography is more conflicted than that of an opportunist using National Socialism to spur his career and pretending it never happened after his side lost. Life is complicated. Part of the picture is Karajan, years later, a doting father in New York, taking his girls to the Ziegfield to be fascinated together with them watching Spielberg’s “E.T.” It is all part of the same whole.

  • V.Lind says:

    I might have read more of that if there had been a few paragraph breaks. That lump was almost as irritating as full caps.

    • Michael Schaffer says:

      That’s a really, really sad response to someone who actually took the time to write something intelligent and worth reading.

      If you have trouble reading text in a block, here is a tip for you: try to gain access to a machine called “a computer”. On a “computer”, you can highlight and copy the text, paste it into a text editing program and then easily break up the text into smaller chunks if you find that more convenient to read.

      You will then find that what Ignacio wrote really is worth reading.

      • MWnyc says:

        That may be true, but even so, a reminder that paragraph breaks are our friends isn’t amiss, even if V. Lind could have phrased it more politely.

    • David H. says:

      YOur comment reminds of the joke about the stupid policemen, where a foreigner asks for directions in six different languages, but they don’t understand him, the one policeman says: “impressive how many different languages he spoke” and the other man answers: “it was useless”.

  • dansk66 says:

    Just to say that I heard Karajan and the Philharmonia live, it started me on my journey through classical music 50 or 60 years ago.

  • Jonathan says:

    Gustavo Dudamel is a remarkable young man still fine tuning his craft – he is very young and his natural talent is sure to mature…… I am thrilled for Venezuela and the effect the Simon Bolivar Orchestra experience has had on it’s young people and people throughout the world. For 18 years in Mexico I observed what music did for young people – the numerous State sponsored schools of music and the wondrous Sala Nezahualcoyotl in Mexico City and the many orchestras who use it to packed audiences…… Music educates, inspires and lifts young people…….. and Dudamel has inspired music lovers, educationalists and governments around the world….. and I for one.. admire him enormously…..

    • Jerimy Bass says:

      I think you need to clean out your ears then.

      • m2n2k says:

        This admonishment does not have much authority since it is coming from a person who just a few days ago on this very thread equated Dudamel with Karajan and then followed that with another “interesting” proposal – Dudamel = Bieber – thus “establishing” that JB is somehow equal to HvK. Hyperbole? I certainly hope so.

  • mark winn says:

    Are you sure it isn’t the Berlin Youth Orchestra that he is lined up for??…..actually he’s not good enough even for them….totally overrated showpony.